Oxidation of ferrous ions by iron-oxidizing bacteria facilitates adsorption of arsenic on iron and subsequent co-precipitation. Based on this technique, a novel treatment process has been developed and tested under field conditions for simultaneous iron and arsenic removal from groundwater. In this study, a biological fixed bed reactor containing coconut husk and subsequent layers of iron matrix, charcoal and sand filter combined the biological and physicochemical treatment processes in a single system. Experimental results showed that arsenic could be efficiently treated from initial concentration of 500 μg L− 1 to residual (effluent) concentrations lower than 15 μg L− 1. Simultaneous significant iron removal efficiency (over 95%) was also achieved. Microbial water quality examination confirmed absence of any contamination in the treated water. Simple and inexpensive construction using locally available materials, considerable treatment performance as well as ease of operation and maintenance present the developed system as a promising one.